Glückshaus

Glückshaus Gambling Board Game

When it comes to casino games, all major land based and online casinos offer the standard range of card and table games including blackjack, poker, craps, roulette, Pai Gow and baccarat. Many casinos also offer a range of electronic and lottery type games like Keno, Bingo with variations of games in country. What most people don’t realise is that most of these games originated from extremely old gambling games that slowly mutated over time. Some gambling games however were just too simple to become mainstream gambling games that we all know and love. Glückshaus was one such game. Played in the 15th and 16th Century, this popular dicing game has since died out and is only played by historical reenactors.

A Simple Board Game with Dice

The name Glückshaus in German translates to “house of luck”. The game was mainly played by mercenaries and tavern regulars in 16th century Europe. One of the major benefits of the game was the fact that it was extremely simple to play and did not require any reading. This meant that illiterate peasants and mercenaries could play the game on equal grounds. The game could also be played with one hand while the other nursed a drink for the evening. It usually drew a crowd and could lead to some players winning straight off the bat.

The Board Setup

Glückshaus was essentially a board game that was played with two dice. The board itself could be a simple piece of paper or board that was divided into twelve squares. The board represented a noble house and each of the twelve squares represented a room in the house. This is where the game got the name “house of luck”. The game could be played by two or more players with each player using the same value coin when playing. The game started with one of the players throwing the two dice. The player that goes first usually has the worst odds, so straws were probably drawn for who goes first.

Starting the Game

In a simple game of Glückshaus, the first player would throw the dice on the table next to the board. The board sits empty at the start of the game. If the player who goes first throws a 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10 or 11, the player must place a coin on the corresponding square on the board. If the player going first rolls a 2, 7, or 12, this is a winning roll but no coins are available to be collected which makes going first unfavourable.

The Wedding and the King’s Roll

In Glückshaus, once the player has placed their coin on an open square, he passes the dice over to the next player. The player then throws the dice. If the second player throws any number except 2, 7 or 12, they must place a coin on the open spot. If a coin already sits on the spot, they can pick up the coin. If the player rolls a 2, this is called a pig. The player can then take all the coins on the board except the 7. If the player rolls a 7, they must put a coin on the spot called “the wedding room”. If a player rolls a 12, this is called the king’s roll and the player collects all the coins on the board including the wedding room coins on number 7.